Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4 Review: Make Your Best Choice!

Pioneer DJ has a new offering in the realm of DJ controllers, the DDJ-FLX4. It made a grand entrance as it took rein from its widely acclaimed predecessor, the DDJ-400. Despite not changing the core features that made the DDJ-400 a preference among entry-level DJs, significant enhancements are also introduced. These enhancements placed the DDJ-FLX as the new standard for entry-level DJ controllers.

           The compatibility with Serato is an inclusion of the DDJ-FLX4 that is worth noting. It results in opening a world of possibilities for DJs who lean towards this software. Moreover, an anticipated version of Rekordbox will help the DDJ-FLX4 to support mobile devices. This guarantees that it stays ahead of the curve while expounding its versatility.

Design Familiarity with a Touch of Elegance

           The user-friendly layout of the DDJ-400 is inherited by the DDJ-FLX4. This is why at first glance, you can immediately see the resemblance. Due to the universal acclaim of the DDJ-400’s functionality with a budget-friendly price, this continuity in design is a welcome decision. Furthermore, the controller retained a simple two-channel configuration with a streamlined mixer section. This reminds us of the premium mixers of Pioneer DJ.

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           Practical yet stylish jog wheels are featured in this device. With the absence of the distraction of lights or displays, it houses two sets of eight one-color, tactile rubberized performance pads. To complete the combo, level controls, library, and familiar loop from Pioneer DJ are integrated. Moreover, it introduces delicate refinements even if it retains the core design elements of its predecessors. These refinements include a sleek dark grey color scheme, alluring matte-finished jogs, and rounded corners on the plastic casing.

Connectivity and Power Upgrades

           The transition of the DDJ-FLX4 to USB-C power is another enhancement that is worth noting. This provides a systematic and modern power solution. Two USB-C sockets are placed in the back panel. One socket is for the power, while the other one is for a computer interface. Except for charging a mobile device, concerns about power input are eliminated. This is because the unit operates on bus power.

           It is very easy to set up the DDJ-FLX4. You just have to connect it to your laptop and download the free Rekordbox or Serato DJ Lite app. Then, you can immediately incorporate your existing music library. You can also log in to popular streaming services like SoundCloud Go+, Beatsource Streaming, Beatport Streaming, or TIDAL. You must also note that the mic input of the DDJ-FLX4 is logically routed to the computer through USB. This makes the process more straightforward for those who want to livestream or record without the need for an additional mixer.

           The DDJ-FLX4 provides excellent sound quality for its price despite not being classified as a “pro” gear. The loudness of its headphones, despite being a bus-powered unit, is sufficient. Moreover, it is complete with all the important DJ requirements. These include deck VUs (though lacking master VUs), gain controls per channel, a straightforward yet efficient Beat FX strip, and a three-band EQ.

           One common feature among many controllers is the knobs that serve as filters 

located underneath the three-band EQs per channel. However, the DDJ-FLX4 enhanced this feature. These knobs can be transformed into a one-knob macro-FX just by tapping the “Smart CFX”. This allows users to blend two or more effects smoothly. It results in the creation of combinations that might be challenging to achieve in other ways.

           The effects span from enhancing the music in distinct ways, to completely cutting them. These effects can add a lot of exciting sensations to your DJ sets while having the assurance that they will sound good. This showcases how versatile the controller is. The Smart CFX is a turning point as it helps to build up energy or evoke big reactions at the peak of your performance.

           This next feature is something that can draw division of opinions – some will love it, and others may not be as enthusiastic. This is the Smart Fader feature.

           If you want your crossfader to become a nearly foolproof tool for blending between any two songs, regardless of their genre or BPM, then the Smart Fader feature is worth engaging with. The first thing that you must do is to start playing your new song and make sure that is “on the beat”. Then, slowly move the crossfader across. While doing this the DDJ-FLX4 syncs the tracks. It naturally adjusts the BPM to guarantee a smooth match between the old and new tracks.

           However, that is not the end. It can also add a touch of finesse to your transitions. The bass of the outgoing track is dropped slowly together with an echo towards its disappearance. There may be small nuances, but it eliminates intricate adjustments. This is because it is a designed shortcut to easily smooth blends.

           Just imagine it as a musical happy pill. It may not provide genuine happiness, but it includes so much fun in your experiences in DJing. The Smart Fader is a feature that can enhance your mixing game, whether you are just a starter or a seasoned professional. It can even use air horn samples to mask transitions for those who are still confident with their skills. Meanwhile, this feature becomes an enchanting tool when used by the hands of a skilled DJ.

           To conclude, the retirement of the DDJ-400 is marked as Pioneer DJ released the DDJ-FLX4. This paved the way for a new era of entry-level DJ controllers. It can support major software packages, including recent compatibility with Virtual DJ. Moreover, its reach extends to Mac, Windows, tablets, and phones. Pioneer DJ comprehensively integrated the strengths of the DDJ-200 and DDJ-400. At the same time, it steered clear of the problems observed in the DDJ-FLX6. Furthermore, a contemporary touch is added to its repertoire due to the live stream mic support inclusion.

           If you are an aspiring DJ who wants to look for an upgrade to the DDJ-400, the DDJ-FLX4 is the top choice. It provides a harmonious blend of innovation, performance, and familiarity. These made the DDJ-FLX4 a benchmark for entry-level DJ controllers until the foreseeable future.

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